Uterine Cancer

Overview of Uterine Cancer

The uterus is part of the female reproductive system. It is pear-shaped and is responsible for menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and more. The uterus has 2 layers of tissue:

  • Endometrium layer

  • Myometrium layer

Uterine Cancer (Bacha Dani ka/  بچہ دانی کا کینس ) develops in the uterus. It develops when healthy cells in the uterus grow uncontrollably and form a tumor. This tumor can be benign or malignant. It is among the most common cancers in women. Endometrial cancer is sometimes also called uterine cancer. 

Benign conditions include:

  • Fibroids
  • Benign Polyps
  • Endometriosis
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia

Malignant conditions include:

  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Sarcoma

80 percent of uterine cancers are adenocarcinoma while sarcoma is only 2 to 4 percent. 

Cervical cancer is the cancer of the uterine cervix and is treated differently than uterine cancer. 

Prevalence of Uterine Cancer

Uterine cancer has a 5-year survival rate of 95 percent in localized conditions. The ratio of uterine cancer is 3.9 percent in Lahore. 67 percent of uterine cancer is detected earlier. 

Signs and Symptoms of Uterine Cancer

Sometimes uterine cancer is asymptomatic or sometimes the symptoms are due to a different cause. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Vaginal bleeding (unusual)
  • Mass detected in pelvic ultrasound
  • Abnormal pap test result
  • Pain in the pelvic area
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Painful urination
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Weight loss (unintentional)
  • Frequent urination
  • Mass in the vagina

Types of Uterine Cancer

Stages of Uterine Cancer

Stages of uterine cancer are assigned using the FIGO system. They are as follows:

  • Stage I

Cancer is found in the uterus and has not spread.

  • Stage IA: The location of the cancer is in the endometrium only or half of the myometrium.
  • Stage IB: Cancer cells have spread to ½ or more of the myometrium.
  • Stage II

Cancer has spread to the cervical stroma.

  • Stage III

Cancer has spread to other parts than the uterus but is still in the pelvic region.

  • Stage IIIA: Fallopian tubes and ovaries also have cancer cells.
  • Stage IIIB: Cancer has spread to the vagina.
  • Stage IIIC1: Regional pelvic lymph nodes have cancer cells.
  • Stage IIIC2: Para-aortic lymph nodes have cancer cells with or without Stage IIIC1.
  • Stage IV:

Cancer has metastasized to the bladder, rectum, and/or other organs.

  • Stage IVA: Cancer cells have also migrated to the mucosa of the rectum or bladder.
  • Stage IVB: Lymph Nodes and other organs are under attack.

Causes of Uterine Cancer

DNA mutation in cells in the uterus is the likely cause of uterine cancer. Normally these cancer cells are found in the endometrial layer. Risk factors include:

  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Family history
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Ethnicity
  • Obesity
  • Other cancers
  • Estrogen imbalance
  • Diet
  • Tamoxifen Drug

Risk Factors of Uterine Cancer

The following factors increase the risk of a woman developing uterine cancer:

  • Age: Uterine cancer usually occurs after the age of 50. The average age of the diagnosis is 60. It is not common in women below 45 years of age.
  • Obesity: Fatty tissues are present in women who are overweight, these can cause the production of estrogen (a sex hormone) to increase. This risk even increases more with increasing BMI (the ratio of a person’s weight and height).
  • Race: White women are more likely to suffer from uterine cancer. However, the chances of advanced uterine cancer are more in women of color than in white women. Black and Hispanic women are more likely to develop aggressive tumors.
  • Genetics: Uterine cancer is more likely to occur in people who have a family history of colon cancer.
  • Drugs: Women taking drugs like tamoxifen to prevent or treat breast cancer have a high chance of developing uterine cancer.
  • Radiation Therapy: Women who have had radiation therapy in the past to treat any disease are at a higher risk of getting uterine cancer.

Uterine Cancer Health Complications

The only potential complication in the case of uterine cancer is Anemia (a low blood cell count). Symptoms include fatigue, lethargy, headaches, irregular heartbeats, yellow skin, shortness of breath and chest pain. This occurs as a result of iron deficiency in the body.



It is difficult to prevent uterine cancer. However, the following are some of the useful measures to reduce the risk of uterine cancer:

  • Taking birth control pills. These pills have a combination of both progesterone and estrogen. These are taken cyclically in order to produce a monthly period. This reduces the overgrowth of the uterine lining especially when taken for longer periods of time. 
  • Using a progestin-secreting intrauterine device (IUD), which is also a form of birth control.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight, ideally a BMI of less than 25.


A thorough physical examination is conducted and previous medical records are checked. Diagnostic tests include:

  • Pelvic Exam

The uterus, vagina, ovaries, and rectum are checked for any unusual mass or findings. This includes a pap test as well.

  • Endometrial biopsy

A biopsy is a sure way of knowing the type and stage of cancer. Tissues are taken for analysis.

  • D&C

A D&C is done to collect tissue samples from the uterus. It is usually done in combination with a hysteroscopy.

Imaging tests include:

Treatment of Uterine Cancer | When to Consult a Doctor

Treatment methods are dependent on various factors such as type and stage of cancer.

  1. Surgery

Surgery is done according to the individual’s fertility needs and concerns. Some of the surgical procedures include:

  • Simple Hysterectomy
  • Radical Hysterectomy
  • Lymphadenectomy

Fertility experts are also consulted before and after surgery to preserve ovaries or eggs.

  1. Chemotherapy

Drugs are administered to destroy and kill cancer cells as well as to shrink the tumor.

  1. Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is done to stimulate the immune system to attack the cancer cells in the uterus.

  1. Radiation Therapy

High beam rays are used to kill cancer cells and to stop the spread of cancer.

Uterine Sarcoma Treatments include:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Targeted therapy


Uterine cancer if caught early is easily treatable. Early-stage cancers can be treated through the removal of the uterus or ovaries removal. In cases of any discrepancy in the test and exams, consult your oncologist immediately.